NS still critical and must be part of Singapore's development

National Service remains a critical institution and must continue to be part of Singapore's development, said participants of the first-ever focus group discussion on how to strengthen support for, and commitment to NS.

But more can still be done to make the NS experience more productive and engaging, as well as, improve the public's perception of the men in uniform.

The 32 participants shared their views on how to beef up the support for the rite of passage on Saturday, as part of a high-level panel's efforts to strengthen NS.

Members of the Committee to Strengthen National Service were also present to hear first-hand feedback and ideas from the participants. The 20-member NS committee is made up of ministers, MPs, top military brass, NSmen and employers.

Those who signed up for Saturday's three-and-a-half-hour session included full-time national servicemen, operationally-ready national servicemen, employers and a mother. Among them was NSF Palani Yapan, a specialist in the Armour formation, who said that NS is an integral part of society but processes can be streamlined so that day-to-day operations can run more efficiently.

Saturday's session is the first of 11 focus group discussions, involving 542 participants, that will be held till next month.